Which SF Giants Prospect Hit a 500-Foot Home Run?
By Marc Delucchi
SF Giants prospects have been happy to get back on the field at the instructional league in Arizona. Prospect Sean Roby was apparently so excited he blasted a home run over 500 feet.
According to an industry source, SF Giants prospect Sean Roby blasted a 509-foot home run during a game at the instructional league. Roby had been one of the organization’s most impressive players according to Giants farm director Kyle Haines, but the team has yet to release any statistics or video from Roby’s performance.
Tracking and home run estimators at the fields in Arizona are historically not the most consistently accurate machines, but Roby has the power to send a ball that far. Last season, Roby won the Northwest League Home Run Derby.
Roby ranked as the Giants 30th best prospect in Around the Foghorn’s most recent prospect ranking. However, if his strong performance in the instructional league carries over to 2021, he could be poised for a breakout year.
Drafted out of Arizona Western College in the 12th round of the 2018 MLB draft, Roby projected as a potential power-hitting corner bat without a clear home defensively.
While he’s always flashed potential plus power, it has yet to consistently play in games. Instead, Roby has focused on squaring the ball up and putting the ball in play. In doing so, he’s consistently run into extra-base hits, just not at the exceptional levels one expects from his scouting report.
Roby had a solid debut with the Giants Arizona League affiliate in 2018 but began earning more consistent attention in 2019. At Salem-Keizer, where Roby was younger than most of the college juniors making their pro debuts, Roby hit .338/.429/.450 and won the league’s home run derby.
The Giants promoted Roby for a cup of full-season ball at Augusta before the season ended. He never quite adjusted to the jump in competition. In 79 plate appearances, Roby struck out nearly 40% of the time and batted just .187. However, Roby flashed the strongest power output of his career, still slugging .400.
The Giants appeared high on Roby prior to the instructional league. He was invited to the team’s big-league camp this spring and put together strong at-bats. In 9 plate appearances, Roby laced five hits, a pair of doubles, walked twice, and never struck out. It’s an obviously small sample, but it was still a sign that he was adjusting to premium pitching.
While he’s yet to have success at full-season ball, it is beginning to look more likely that Roby will start next season at High-A or above next season. Currently, that would be with the San Jose Giants in the California League, but minor-league baseball realignment could change that.
Sean Roby has been an intriguing under-the-radar prospect since the SF Giants drafted him in 2018. However, it seems like that time could be coming to a close. While he was not one of the team’s top picks, he’s clearly one of the organization’s most intriguing bats.